I'm back in Kolkatta

Trip Start Jun 25, 2013
1
23
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Trip End Dec 25, 2013


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Flag of India  , Bengal,
Tuesday, September 17, 2013

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I'm not quite sure what's happened to me and am uncertain if older and wiser or possibly softer. Given my last 24 hours - I'm clearly acting more maturer or my Hyatt time might have altered my mindset and made me go soft!

Never in the history of Chegwyn travels has this happened before but the below might explain a few things.
 
I typed the below from last night's roadside accommodation and by the miracle of technology and my techy skills I emailed it to myself  automatically once within wifi connectivity.  From there I've cut and paste so not as much to do today. I feel my computer skills have now reached an all time high. I don't think Bill Gates need worry just yet but I for one have my chest puffed out and my head held high.

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I was packing my things and getting ready to leave when my mobile rang and it was the courier company that should have collected Richards bike first thing. They said they would be outside at 12 and as that was my checkout time it wasn't too bad. Initially they were due at 8 then 9 then mid morning etc. After some sitting around in the blazing sun I called the company and was assured 10 minutes. Amazingly they arrived but on a bike and with no van. I was then told that they needed the documents or they couldn't deal with it but fortunately the hotel courier hadn't left with them despite me posting it at 9am. I got the courier company to agree to having photocopies and then got that organised. I had to drain the fuel and by this time I was once again back to being hot and stinky. I then paid the 55 ukp or so for the shipping and hoped the van would turn up soon. It did but without a plank of wood so we all assisted in lifting it into the van. The Hyatt staff were superb and couldn't have been more helpful. Rajiv kumar who I think was a supervisor (and from lovely ranchi) was particularly helpful and I'm not sure how I would've coped in a cheaper more basic hotel. I eventually left at just after 1.30 and had I been prepared to pay a 100 ukp I would've stayed another night! I was hot and sweaty as I pulled out from the hotel and my mornings clean  jacuzzi experience was but a distant memory. It took me about an hour to clear kolkata and it's suburbs  and I kept wondering when the National Highway 34 would start. The last time Richard left me mid way through a trip was in turkey a few years back. On that occasion I was reverse rammed by a taxi and suffered bike damage and a dislocated finger, almost got involved in a high speed crash, had a bird fly into my bike and die and the icing on that particular days cake was some fisty cuff silliness with a clearly mental health patient who kicked off. This all came flooding back to me as the first incident occurred as leaving kolkata when I was struck from behind by a badly driven bus. No major damage but not a good start. The 'highway' was terrible and the driving worse. People were travelling at speed then swerving to avoid potholes that were as deep as any I have seen before. I was forced off the road twice but the real close one was an almost head on with a white 4x4. It might be that I'm getting older or indeed a bit more sensible but I made a promise that I would take care on this 6 month trip. The route I was taking was a two way affair and whatever I experienced on the way up would no doubt have to be repeated on the return leg. With discretion being the better part of valor I've decided it's too long a way for this particular 'adventure motorcyclist' to go. I've still the entire coast to ride and think the sea breeze and coastal route will suit me much more. As a result I've turned around and am now spending the night about 80 kms north of kolkata. My latest plan is an early start and to try and be clear of the big city by mid morning.

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Last night I  slept like the dead and didn't wake until my alarm at 7ish. The above 'plan' changed last night following a few late texts and this morning I rode back into Kolkatta hoping to meet an Indian motorcycle adventurer. The road silliness started once again as soon as I got back on NH34 but this time I knew how far I was going. It would've been about 900kms to darjeiling and about the same back. As a result this mornings 80 klicks back into the city was a doddle.

It took a while for me to locate the meeting point - this is a big place- but I was there on time and got to meet Abishek - what a top guy. After a quick coffee and sticky doughnut I was riding back to his and have been offered a nights accommodation. 

What a top bloke!

Oh and to those I've passed out cards to here in India my email id is   .co.uk not     . com Sorry!

 
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